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Top 10 Wines of 2012

Top 10 Wines of 2012

As I reflect back on 2012 I can honestly say that it was my luckiest year yet when it comes to wine.  I was fortunate enough to have drunk more great wine more often with more great people than any other year.  This is a blessing.  And in some ways a curse.  Whatever, I have...
If Cru Beaujolais & Langhe Nebbiolo had a love child?

If Cru Beaujolais & Langhe Nebbiolo had a love child?

When a wine comes at me with a Cru Beaujolais meets Langhe Nebbiolo play I have to listen.  When it prices out at about $13.99 per bottle it’s time to buy.  I have had the Bernabeleva Camino de Navaherreros cuvée in past vintages and have liked it but it somehow seemed to not quite wow. ...
Bodegas Riojanas Monte Real 1998 & 2001

Bodegas Riojanas Monte Real 1998 & 2001

It’s autumn and that’s when Rioja comes back out to play.  With that in mind, I have been revisiting Rioja lately and I wanted to check in on one of Rioja’s classics, Bodegeas Riojanas Monte Real.  I have had the Monte Real 1998 before but I was curious about the 2001, a much touted vintage...
Sherry Fest Highlights:  NYC Fall 2012

Sherry Fest Highlights: NYC Fall 2012

Sherry Fest blew through NYC this past week and it has put one of the most historic wine regions of the world back on the map in a big way.  Now you may be thinking you know what Sherry is, but chances are you don’t.  No, Sherry is not wine for cooking or for an...
Goodbye 2003 Señorío de P. Peciña Crianza, Hello Classic Rioja

Goodbye 2003 Señorío de P. Peciña Crianza, Hello Classic Rioja

The last bottle of 2003 Señorío de P. Peciña Crianza went down the gullet with our supper last night.  And what a treat.  But I will not shed a tear as I am eager to get onto the next vintage of one of the best, and most affordable, Rioja Crianzas on the market.  While Peciña...
Bodegas Riojanas 1970 Viña Albina Gran Reserva

Bodegas Riojanas 1970 Viña Albina Gran Reserva

I have to say that nothing makes one feel more youthful than popping the cork on a bottle of wine that is older than you.  With that in mind and a new edict to open more older bottles of wine more often, we tucked into a bottle of 1970 Bodegas Riojanas Viña Albina Gran Reserva....
Buil & Giné 2009 Rosat

Buil & Giné 2009 Rosat

I have wanted to try Buil & Giné wines for some time.  Namely because they are the other major brand imported by my friend Monica Nogues at Think Global Wines.  Her other major brand is Lopéz de Heredia, so if you only represent two brands and one is Lopéz then I kinda think I gotta...
Burgundy vs. Rioja vs. Barolo

Burgundy vs. Rioja vs. Barolo

I like to pit my favorite wine regions against each other, like super hero’s if you will.  Except they are not in a battle of good and evil; more like good and good.  So with some friends we drank some Nicolas Potel Burgundy, Viña Real Rioja, and Oddero Barolo (in that order) to see how...
Bodegas Marañones "Piesdescalzos" 2009 Albillo

Bodegas Marañones “Piesdescalzos” 2009 Albillo

Every time I try a white wine from Bodegas Marañones I am completely seduced.  In some way I feel like someone has slipped me a mickey and I am being conned.  There is such a richness and depth, that I feel like there is new oak carefully laced through the wine to caress me into...
El Brozal 2009 Rioja Blanco:  Another Great White Hope.

El Brozal 2009 Rioja Blanco: Another Great White Hope.

The genre of classic white Rioja is very small.  In fact, until recently, the only real bearer of this cross was Lopéz de Heredia with it’s Gravonia and Tondonia whites.  And while these still remain the archetypes of traditional white Rioja’s, there have been some welcome new additions.  Marqués de Murrieta’s Capellania springs to mind,...
Who is Faustino?

Who is Faustino?

Maybe you have seen him.  I know I have.  His name is Faustino.  He is in airport duty free shops around the globe, and he is the most recognized label when it comes to classic Rioja wines.  Ladies and Gents, it’s Faustino! Being, perhaps the most recognized Rioja label in the world (or is it...
La Rioja Alta:  Viña Ardanza 2000 & Viña Alberdi 2005

La Rioja Alta: Viña Ardanza 2000 & Viña Alberdi 2005

Every time I open a bottle of wine from La Rioja Alta I am reminded that they are not only one of my favorite bodegas in Rioja, but one of the finest in the world.  The level of character and consistency is to be admired and trusted.  These facts were confirmed when I recently checked...